In disappointing news for Pfizer, a study found that its controversial Chantix pill for quitting smoking failed to show any benefit over nicotine patches and lozenges among people trying to kick their habit.
Although the study did not question the effectiveness of the product, the findings may represent another hurdle in the quest to transform Chantix into a blockbuster seller. Ever since it was approved a decade ago, Chantix has been dogged by safety concerns, lawsuits, and languishing sales.
The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared three approaches to quitting smoking in which 1,086 patients either used a nicotine patch, the Chantix pill, or a combination of a patch and nicotine lozenge.
The findings, which relied on lab tests to gauge carbon monoxide levels, did not find any statistically significant differences between the products at either six months or one year. At six months, for instance, the quit rate was 23 percent for the patch; 24 percent for Chantix; and 27 percent for a patch and lozenges. And at one year, the quit rate was 21 percent, 19 percent, and 20 percent, respectively.